By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 31, 2008
LOS ANGELES, March 30 -- Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas said before Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers that he's willing to sign for less money this summer if it will help the team retain all-star forward Antawn Jamison, who will be a free agent.
"I want to see Antawn taken care of first and then I'll take the pay cut to keep the team intact," said Arenas, who plans to opt out of the final season of his contract with the idea of signing a long-term deal with the Wizards.
How much less in Arenas willing to take?
"That depends on what Antawn wants," Arenas said with a chuckle. "We've been together six out of my seven years so we have an understanding. We know what's in jeopardy so, you know, I told him whatever he wants, give it to him and I'll take the pay cut. I know what he does. He's a part of my success and I'm a part of his success so we have this one-two combination that works in this league. We know we make each other better. Someone has to sacrifice. This might be one of his last contracts so I'll sacrifice and hopefully I'll get another at the end of the day and if I don't, I know I did the right thing."
Arenas could make $12.8 million next season if he didn't opt out. Jamison is making $16.36 million this season and is interested in signing a new contract that would pay him around $10 million in the first year, according to a league source.
Arenas, who has missed 65 games with a left knee injury, plans to play this season once he is medically cleared.
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